In the words of Benjamin Disraeli; “Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” and as a mom this couldn’t be more true. We recently undertook some major adjustments within my household – my oldest started kindergarten and my youngest started at daycare. We are now settling into a groove but our September was full of growing pains that any family – or organization - may experience during a time of change. It doesn’t even have to be starting school - preparing for a move to a new home, adding a new member to the family (furry or human!) or even starting a healthy lifestyle – all of these are similar to undergoing organizational changes.
According to the Haworth Whitepaper The Dogma of Moving Minds: Managing Transition; successful long-term change must express four key characteristics:
- Speed of Adoption – how quickly individuals familiarize themselves to the change
- Ultimate Utilization – how many are engaged and participating
- Proficiency – how effective is everyone when implementing the change
- Reinforcement – critical to success, reinforcement verifies the desired actions
The movement of change always starts at the top; in my case that means my spouse and I. Successful change occurs when we are active and happily participating in the change. Applying the four key characteristics to my family is easy, we need to lead our family in these new routines and changes to ensure their success and the same can be said for organization changes.
We took the following steps to ensure successful change within our family:
- Speed of Adoption – We talked about how our routines would be changing weeks prior, giving advance notice helped our kids/children prepare in their own way.
- Ultimate Utilization – Helping them understand that we were all doing this together; not only will their day be changing, but as their parents our day was changing as well.
- Proficiency – Starting low, but getting better as we go on. Low proficiency can be expected during the beginning of a change since everyone is adjusting.
- Reinforcement – Helping children adjust can be tricky, but continuing to help them with the routines and following a good example was key to our success.
Ultimately any change is about the people and making their lives better. There will always be disruption, frustration, and uncertainty among the individuals directly affected by the change. It’s up to leadership like executives, owners and managers to highlight why the changes are happening and support those who rely on them.
Interested in making changes at your organization? Give us a call. You can trust that our diverse and dynamic team understands the needs of an evolving organization and can provide you the tools necessary for success.